Backs to the Land (1977–1978)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | War
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(awaiting 5 votes)
Reviews: 1 user

Add a Plot

Creator:

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Live Chat with Keanu Reeves

We conducted a Live Chat with Keanu about his upcoming film John Wick.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 18 Feb 2013
 
a list of 219 titles
created 06 Mar 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 27 Jun 2013
 
a list of 101 titles
created 31 Jul 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Backs to the Land.

Episodes

Seasons


Years



3   2   1  
1978   1977  
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Philippa Howell ...
 Shirley Bloom (19 episodes, 1977-1978)
Terese Stevens ...
 Jenny Dabb (19 episodes, 1977-1978)
John Stratton ...
 Tom Whitlow (19 episodes, 1977-1978)
Charles Lamb ...
 Wally (16 episodes, 1977-1978)
Pippa Page ...
 Bunny Burroughs (13 episodes, 1977-1978)
Stephanie Fayerman ...
 Aggie (13 episodes, 1977-1978)
Delia Paton ...
 Ethel Whitlow (12 episodes, 1977-1978)
Geraldine Newman ...
 Miss Rainbow (11 episodes, 1977-1978)
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

world war two | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1977 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(19 episodes)

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

David Troughton (Roy Whitlow) and Michael Troughton (Eric Whitlow) are brothers in real life. See more »

Soundtracks

Backs to the Land
Written by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent
Performed by Anne Shelton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"To be or not to be - that's what I want to know!"
3 February 2008 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Anglia Television is chiefly remembered today for 'Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected', 'The World Of Survival' and 'Sale Of The Century' ( "Now From Norwich - Its The Quiz Of The Week!" ) hosted by the one and only Nicholas Parsons. In 1977, the station forayed into the realm of sitcoms with 'Backs To The Land' which attempted to do for the Women's Land Army what 'Dad's Army' did for the Home Guard.

The year is 1940, and young women from all walks of life are recruited to work in the countryside to do the jobs the menfolk did before going off to the front. Milking cows, feeding chickens, baling hay, that sort of thing. The three central characters in 'Backs' are débutante 'Daphne Finch-Beauchamp', cheerful Cockney 'Jenny Dabb' and down-to-Earth Jewish girl 'Shirley Bloom'. They are sent to Crabtree Farm, Norfolk, owned by the tight-fisted and cantankerous 'Farmer Tom Whitlow'. The show that followed was a kind of hybrid of 'Two In Clover' ( townies struggling to adjust to the country way of life ) and the 'All Is Safely Gathered In' episode of 'Dad's Army'.

The scripts were by David Climie, co-author of the hit Derek Nimmo monastic sitcom 'Oh Brother!', and adaptor of P.G. Wodehouse's tales for 'Wodehouse Playhouse', which starred John Alderton and ( initially ) Pauline Collins. Climie wrote a novelisation based on 'Backs', and later did one for Ronnie Corbett's 'Sorry!'.

Anne Shelton sang the patriotic title theme, which went something like: 'Backs To The Land Girls/There's So Much That You Can Do/Lending A Hand Girls/Britain Is Proud Of You'. Anne later sang the theme to another wartime sitcom, the B.B.C.'s ill-fated 'Then Churchill Said To Me', which starred Frankie Howerd.

After one season, Marilyn Galsworthy ( who played 'Daphne' ) left ( to appear in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' as that unfortunate secretary who falls into a pool where she is eaten alive by sharks ), and was replaced by the equally sexy Pippa Page as showgirl 'Bunny Burroughs'.

Three seasons were made in total. I have not seen 'Backs' since its original broadcast, but remember it as being pretty good. No 'Dad's Army' though. The late John Stratton was often hilarious as the miserable farmer. What damaged the show in my view was the annoying ( and somewhat obvious ) use of canned laughter. Sometimes a laugh track can improve a sitcom ( how Johnny Speight's 'Till Death' in 1981 could have used one! ), but here it had exactly the opposite effect. Every line uttered on screen was accompanied by patently artificial tittering, giggling and chortling. The end result was like watching a film in the company of a senile relative who finds everything he/she sees amusing.

Another problem the series had was that Phillippa Howell ( Shirley ) and Terese Stevens ( Jenny ) apparently did not get along in real life, and disparaged one another in the popular press.

Farmer Whitlow's sons appeared in the first series, and were played by two real-life brothers - Michael and David Troughton. Michael went on to be 'Piers Fletcher-Dervish' in 'The New Statesman'.

'Backs To The Land' had tremendous possibilities, but the canned laughter unfortunately killed much of the humour stone dead. A great shame.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Backs to the Land (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?